Asians Back Tough Immigration Rules

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

NEARLY two out of three Asians reject the idea that Britain's immigration laws are racist or unfair.

One in five thinks the asylum and immigration rules - targets for anti-Government campaigns by race activists and churches - are not tough enough.

The findings destroy the idea that British Asians are unhappy or fearful over Home Secretary Michael Howard's tough line on abuse of refugee laws, pollsters said.

The Mori survey carried out for Asian broadcaster Zee TV also confirmed one of the Labour Party's fears - that successful Asians are beginning to gravitate to the Tories.

The findings will provide comfort to Mr Howard in the face of concerted attacks on his immigration policies.

Liberal campaigners and Church of England bishops have criticised rules cutting back the rights to state benefits of some asylum seekers and the detention of others.

Asked if the refugee and immigration rules were `about right', 43 per cent of Asians questioned agreed. A further 18 per cent said the laws were `not strict enough'. Only 31 per cent said they were too tough.

Mori's political research director, Simon Braunholtz, said: `Contrary to most expectations, the majority of Asians think immigration laws are either fair or not strict enough. …